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Photographing Birds

Since yesterday I talked about Mammals today seemed perfect for birds. I truly love photographing birds because they provided a unique challenge that Mammals don’t. Birds don’t hold still. Granted most mammals tend to move around a lot but not like birds. Birds seem to be notorious for going to the one branch you don’t like and then smiling about it. All of that is part of what makes it so much fun.

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I’ll start off by saying the one thing everyone likes to talk about, yes the right lens is important in this area. If you want to photograph birds you need something like a 70-300, 200-400, 600 or even 800. While everyone thinks it is to get the subject bigger in the frame, and that is true it does help, it is mainly for isolating background. Finding a good, clean background with birds isn’t easy having a longer lens helps. The exception to that is if you have your own bird station setup in which case it becomes a controlled environment. Now birds don’t have the same body behavior as mammals do. They are much more vocal and frankly if they are unhappy, they leave. That’s what they do. The great thing is they are birds everywhere! From common North American species like the Yellow Headed Blackbird or to African species like the Pied Kingfisher, there is always something to shoot if you put in a little effort.

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I talk about technique and a whole lot more in my class at Photoshop World this week but I know not everyone is going to be at Photoshop World and knowing this they did something really clever this year by having the instructors who are teaching on the Expo floor put their classes on their website. So if you go to the top under tips, classes, downloadable classes you will see a link where you can download a PDF of my class. Isn’t that handy!

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